Our History

Lifeline New Zealand is New Zealand’s longest-operating telephone helpline service and has a rich history that dates back 60 years.

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Originally founded in Sydney, Australia, in 1963, the first New Zealand Lifeline office opened in Christchurch 17 months later on 30 June 1964.

Geoff Hill answered the first call with the words “This is Life Line. May we help you?”

Lifeline regional offices continued to open around the country over the next 30 years.

Lifeline sponsored the opening of Youthline in 1971 and launched a 24-hour helpline for problem gamblers in 1998.

Today, Lifeline is one of New Zealand’s most prominent helplines and offers various services, including a training programme for businesses and community groups.

With no Government funding, it is reliant on public donations to deliver its services.

Lifeline is also part of Presbyterian Support Northern’s group of social services.

Click here to see Lifeline’s full history